Poker Book Review: Kill Phil, The Fast Track to Success in No Limit Hold’em Tournaments

As a full time online tournament poker player, I am always open to new concepts, strategies and opinions. Hence, when I picked up this book, written by Lee Nelson and Blair Rodman, I was immediately convinced of some fresh new material here. Now whether or not you agree with the strategies presented in this poker book, it’s a necessity to be aware of your competitor’s knowledge and recognize their strategies as well. Some of which clearly will be derived from books like this in the years to come.

Nelson and Rodman are pros at this game and each has an excellent record of success. In this book, they bring to the novice player a straightforward strategy to implement in No Limit Hold’em Tournaments. Having used these strategies themselves, well, they know of what they write. The premise of the Kill Phil strategy is twofold. 1- Take full advantage of betting your whole stack (it is No Limit after all) consistently, thus masking the true strength of your hand, and 2- Negate post-flop play which is generally the domain of stronger players.

The reasoning here is, that each time you are all in, and a presumed favorite, your potential to build a huge stack is very realistic. In addition, even if you go all-in with the prescribed hands and find yourself behind, you won’t be that much of an underdog. The book shows in detail how certain hands which you wouldn’t think to go all in with, stand good odds to take down a huge pot.

The Kill Phil Strategy is essentially a by-product of how tournament formats are traditionally structured. This strategy was first introduced in David Sklanksy’s Tournament Poker for Advanced Players, but Nelson and Rodman break it down and make adjustments for stack sizes and position, while also introducing some advanced concepts, which the novice tournament player can introduce into his game with some experience.

The writers do an excellent job of explaining this poker tournament strategy, giving confidence to any new poker tournament player. As a seasoned individual I did find some flaws in the system, that do not take away from the writing and the generous amount of background tournament information included here. Personally I could not use this formula, because a large part of my game is post flop aggression. As well, if you employ theses tactics in a low entry fee online tournament, well let’s say you’ll get laughed out of Dodge. I have seen such characters and they NEVER win online. Players like myself line up drooling for just the right moment to take these chumps down.

But as I mentioned earlier, being keen to new concepts is part of growing and improving as player. The writers introduce an excellent short stack strategy that can be incorporated into most players’ games, and that I am fond of using. Hey, whenever you get two players this good, clunking heads, odds, and strategies together, give them the 25 bucks and read their book.

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